original version of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Kera Birkeland (R-Morgan), sought to avoid a full-scale ban on transgender athletes like the one rejected last year by Utah lawmakers while ensuring that cisgender females are not disadvantaged by competing against transgender females who have a physiological advantage over them.To that end, Birkeland’s bill would have created a seven-person panel — comprised of six members appointed by the president of the State Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the governor — including: a sports physiologist, a board-certified physician, a mental health professional, and an athletic trainer — and one coach or interscholastic official appointed by the presiding state athletic association.The commission would then determine, on a case-by-case basis, an individual student’s eligibility, based on their personal physical characteristics, for competing on sports teams that match their gender identity.
The commission would take into account if the student’s participation would “present a substantial safety risk to the student or others” or give them “a material competitive advantage when compared to students of the same age.”But Birkeland’s bill was panned by some members of the LGBTQ community, who argued that forcing transgender children to appear before the commission would be emotionally harmful and demeaning, and that appointees selected by partisan officeholders might not handle cases involving transgender athletes in good faith.
Additionally, social conservatives argued that the bill was insufficient, demanding a categorical ban on transgender athletes from female-designated sports teams.Sen.
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